ATLANTA, Ga. - Five Golden Eagles posted double figure kills, led by junior Quinci Hayward with a match-high 17 kills, but it wasn't enough as Southern Miss fell to Georgia 3-1 (24-26, 22-25, 25-21, 24-26) in the Georgia Tech Invitational Saturday morning.
Elise Ames and Jasmine Crowell tallied 15 and 14 kills, respectively, while Lydia Bonner and Stephany Purdue added 13 and 10 kills, respectively. Mary Pursell added 22 digs and Kristen Fleming had 10.
Amanda Dachs, Tira Le'au and Lauren Teknipp all totaled 10 kills each. Le'au and Gaby Smiley had 11 and 10 22 digs, respectively. Desiree McCray recorded 12 total blocks
Georgia out-hit and out-blocked the Eagles. The Bulldogs had 50 kills on a .278 hitting clip, had 37 digs and registered 20.0 team blocks. Southern Miss finished the match with 73 kills on .277 hitting, 62 digs and 4.0 team blocks.
It took a few extra points for Georgia to defeat Southern Miss in the first set by a score of 26-24. The two teams battled from start to finish as neither team managed to gain any more than four-point lead. The set featured 19 ties and five lead changes.
The second set was just as close as both teams battled back and forth. Georgia scored four of the final seven points to end the second set with a 25-22 win.
Georgia grabbed the early in the third set, but Southern Miss battled back in tying the set. The teams battled throughout the set as Southern Miss was able to forge ahead 22-20 on a Hayward kill and combo block of Hayward and Crowell. After a Georgia timeout, Southern Miss finished set scoring three of the final four points for a 25-21 win.
The fourth set featured eight ties and five lead changes. Georgia jumped out to a 5-2 lead but the Eagles battled back to tie the set at 8-8 before moving ahead 13-9 forcing the Bulldogs to take a timeout. Southern Miss was able to maintain a lead, but Georgia put together a run that put the Bulldogs up 16-15. Out of the Southern Miss, the Golden Eagles ran off five straight points in taking a 20-16 lead. Georgia answered by scoring the next three points in cutting the lead to 20-19. Georgia then closed out the set scoring seven of the final 11 points in taking the final set 26-24.
Southern Miss is back in action at 6 p.m. against host Georgia Tech.
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